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Sunday 7 February 2016
The week in pictures

Hotdogs, honkey tonk, dinner at The Ritz, frozen cocktails, DRC and wheels of cheese all feature in this week’s round-up of drinks trade antics.

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‘Bond villain winery’ uses submarine tech to ferment wine

A high-tech winery in California’s Napa Valley is using a process called sono-densitometry – a technology used in the submarine industry – to control the fermentation of its wines.

Liberty adds three SA wines to portfolio

Liberty Wines has added three South African wineries to its portfolio, the latest UK merchant to bolster its offering from the country this year.

Chardonnay is ‘the white truffle’ of Champagne

Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, president of Château Mouton Rothschild, has made Chardonnay his focus at his Champagne project as he believes the grape to be the “white truffle” of the region.

Pillocks! Helen Mirren sums up drunk drivers

Oscar-winning British actress Helen Mirren has been putting the world to rights by lambasting drunk drivers in a hilariously blunt advert ahead of the Super Bowl.

Beer

Casella Family branches out into beer

Casella is branching into beer for the first time, launching an Australian lager in its domestic market and a Yellow Tail lager in the US.

Don’t drink if you’re not on birth control, women told

Women shouldn’t drink unless they are on birth control because they run the risk of getting pregnant and damaging their unborn child, a prominent health group has claimed.

Pub closures slowing in the UK

The long demise of the British pub may finally be over, as new figures released today show the rate of pub closures across the UK is beginning to slow.

New video makes case for beer duty cut

The campaign for a cut in UK beer duty by the the British brewing and pub trades has stepped up its efforts with the launch of a new video.

The Wine Explorers: Brazil

In the latest episode to appear on db, December 2014 saw the Wine Explorers land in Brazil to see what vinous delights it had to offer.

by Jean-Baptiste Ancelot

Heineken is insulting its drinkers with latest ad

Heineken is insulting its drinkers, using whiny women to sell less beer – maybe a lot less. by Dan Fox

Don’t count out Bordeaux

Despite the doom and gloom headlines, you really can't afford to leave Bordeaux out of your portfolio. by db_staff

The Wine Explorers: Bolivia to Uruguay

In the latest update from The Wine Explorers, our intrepid travellers arrive in Uruguay to taste their way through the country's wines. by Jean-Baptiste Ancelot
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WHISK(E)Y

Scotch trade pushes for tax cut

The Scotch Whisky Association has met British Treasury officials this week to call for a 2% cut in spirits duty.

Super premium whiskey drives US spirits growth

Continued demand for super premium American whiskey contributed to another year of “steady growth” for US spirits, with sales reaching nearly US$72 billion in 2015.

Diageo ‘resilient’ in first half despite currency woes

Diageo has reported value sales growth of 1.8% and volume growth of 1% in the first six months of the year, with chief executive Ivan Menezes saying the company has “momentum and resilience”.

SWA calls for further 2% spirits tax cut

The Scotch Whisky Association has today launched a campaign calling for a further 2% cut in spirits duty in the upcoming UK Budget.

KOTTABOS

Modern Wine Fables – Bordeaux: Futures

The third and final Modern Wine Fable; a journalist would do anything for a scoop, wouldn’t they?

Modern Wine Fables – Loire: Offering

In the second of our Modern Wine Fables, it might be wiser not to push a biodynamic producer to the edge, still worse over it. You may regret it.

Modern Wine Fables – Burgundy: Appreciation

In the first of three new fictional ‘Modern Wine Fables’, what happens when the world’s greatest wine becomes too expensive to drink?

Tricks of ancient drinking game revealed

The best way to win at the ancient drinking game “kottabos” is to fling your wine dregs like a baseball, not like a frisbee, one expert has declared.

Our Top 10's

Top 10 wines in the US press

The Old World stalwarts of France, Italy and Portugal have made a big standing in the American press picks for this week, including a special focus on Marsannay.

Top 6 Rieslings priced over £15

We take a look at the best performing wines priced over £15 in The Drinks Business Riesling Global Masters, all of which were awarded a coveted Master.

Top 10 wines in the UK press

Supermarket own-labels and unconventional New Zealand offerings make up some of the top picks among British wine writers this week.

Top 10 wines in the US press

Oregon Pinot Noir once again makes a stellar showing in this week’s press round-up, as do Argentine reds and a native Slovenian variety.

Best value Rieslings under £15

We round up the wines that achieved a silver medal or higher in the Drinks Business 2015 Global Riesling Masters, and what’s more, are priced at £15 or less.

Top trade exhibitions for 2016

It’s time to take out those year planners as the drinks business presents the must-attend exhibitions of the 2016 international wine industry calendar.

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Fine Wine

Bordeaux leads Fine Wine 1000 in January

Following in the footsteps of the Fine Wine 100, the Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 index also made gains in January with Bordeaux leading the way.

Bordeaux ’06: ‘More Kilimanjaro than Everest’

A recent tasting confirmed that the Bordeaux 2006 vintage doesn’t quite reach the heights of the 2005, but its high points are still impressive.

de Villaine: 2013 was a ‘disastrous’ vintage

Aubert de Villaine, co-director of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, has spoken out about the 2013 vintage in Burgundy, describing it as “disastrous”.

de Villaine priming nephew to take over DRC

Aubert de Villaine, co-director of Burgundy’s prized Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, is priming his nephew to take over the estate in the near future.

Champagne

Moët pop-up school returns to London

Champagne Moët & Chandon’s Moët Academy pop-up is to return to London in March – promising visitors a ‘world preview’ of the house’s soon-to-be-released Grand Vintage Rosé 2008.

Hambledon to almost double production in 2016

The Hampshire sparkling wine producer Hambledon is aiming to almost double output this year, from 120,000 bottles to 200,000 bottles, winemaker Antoine Arnault says.

9,000 bottles of fake Moët seized in Italy

Italian police have seized over 9,000 bottles of fake Moët & Chandon Champagne from a shed in the countryside near Padua in northern Italy.

Drappier ‘first’ carbon neutral Champagne house

Champagne Drappier has laid claim to being the first Champagne house to reduce its carbon footprint to zero after a 10-year effort.

Lanson to release single vineyard Champagne

Lanson is to release a single vineyard Champagne this spring from a walled one-hectare vineyard close to the cathedral in the city of Reims.